Women of Five Wars: Persian Gulf, Iraq & Afghanistan

In the fifteen years between the end of the Vietnam War and the start of Operation Desert Shield, the armed forces of the U.S. opened up many specialties to women. The nature of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, with blurred lines of engagement, have placed more servicewomen in harm’s way. With greater responsibilities have come increased risk of injury and the after-effects of armed engagements with an elusive and persistent enemy.

Featured Story: Lee Ingrid Lane

“It’s the only time I’ve ever had where I had one thing to think about and nothing else to worry about.”

(Audio interview, 14:23)

A lifelong adventurer, Lee Lane joined the military to become a helicopter pilot. The first female helicopter pilot in her Illinois National Guard unit, she spent her time overseas zooming across the Iraqi countryside, 50 feet above the ground. Unlike many soldiers in Iraq who were stationed only in one or two locations, her role as a pilot afforded her a unique, ever-changing view of the country’s varied terrain and diverse population.